Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Education changes the world: StFX WUSC students receive X-Rings

December 17th, 2020
L-r, front: Farhiyo Salah (nursing) and Priscilla Panchol (BA international development) and back: Amy Graham (WUSC president) and Kristen Stephens (WUSC vice-president), all received their X-Rings this year. This is a special celebration for all who worked tirelessly to help with this achievement.

StFX celebrated a milestone this year when two students, Priscilla Panchol and Farhiyo Salah, who came to StFX through the World University Service of Canada (WUSC)  received their X-Rings.

This is the first time two students from WUSC—a Canadian non-profit working to create a better world for all young people, including through the Student Refugee Program, a resettlement program that supports students registered by the United Nations as refugees who wish to pursue post-secondary studies in Canada and receive permanent residency—have received their X-Ring in the same year. 

“X-Ring was a big thing for me because it symbolizes all the struggle I went through. I never thought I would make it this far but with the help of this amazing (StFX WUSC) society, I kept pushing through as I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel and X-Ring was definitely that light (bittersweet). It will forever remind me of this journey,” says Ms. Panchol, who came to StFX from the Kakuma refugee camp.

“X-Ring means a lot to me,” says Ms. Salah, who came from Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. “It’s a constant reminder for a beautiful journey, hard work and determination. It’s a dream that came true, and this wouldn’t never be possible without the constant help and support from WUSC-StFX society.”

WUSC society president Amy Graham, who also received her X-Ring, says at StFX a small portion of every student’s tuition goes to support one student refugee joining the Xaverian family. With the support of the WUSC committee, these students secure an opportunity to be educated at a post-secondary institution. 

“Given the COVID-19 pandemic, many WUSC university chapters across Canada have been unable to welcome students to their campuses. Given the strength of the Antigonish community and the current state of our town, we are pleased and grateful to be able to announce that, in January, we will be welcoming two new refugee students to the Xaverian community,” says Ms. Graham. 

“Without the outstanding efforts of the StFX WUSC chapter, this wonderful accomplishment would not have been possible.”

Dr. Maria Paz-Mackay, faculty advisor to the StFX WUSC society, says, “This was a very special day for us. WUSC program’s success is largely thanks to its unique youth-to-youth sponsorship model, which empowers young Canadian students to play an active role in the sponsorship of refugee students. We are lucky to have such a wonderful group of students on our committee who truly embrace the Xavierian spirit! The StFX WUSC group tackled the challenge presented by WUSC Ottawa to receive an additional student this year. The group worked tirelessly during the summer to apply for external funding to make this possible. We were lucky to receive external financial support from WUSC Ottawa and StFX AUT. Also, we are thankful to continually have the kind financial support our university provides to this wonderful student refugee program.”

WUSC brings together students, volunteers, schools, governments, and businesses, who together foster youth-centered solutions to enhance education and economic opportunities, while empowering individuals to overcome inequality and exclusion in over 15 countries across Asia, Africa, and the Americas. 

Start Your Journey